Publication Date

Fall 2021

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Diversity Management, Representative Bureaucracy, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Cultural Competency, Underutilization


Attaining representativeness in a bureaucracy, or the ability for a public organization to mirror the diversity of its constituents, is argued to be a key element to effective and efficient governance. Studies show that implementing diversity management programs can help organizations become more representative and, at the same time, maximize the full potential of their diverse workforce. This study examined the existing and developing diversity management programs in each of the nine Bay Area county organizations and measured the representativeness of each. These programs were analyzed by benchmarking them against the International Personnel Management Association's (IPMA) diversity management best practices list. Representativeness was gauged by comparing the ethnic makeup of each county organization's workforce against the ethnicity of the population it is serving and its available labor market using the most recent census data. Although diversity management has been around for decades, implementing diversity management programs for most nine Bay Area county organizations is either at the beginning stages or is not a top priority. Moreover, data on representation show that though the Black or African American employees are well represented across the nine Bay Area county organizations, underrepresentation is still prevalent, particularly with the Hispanic and Asian employee group, especially at the leadership level. These findings suggest that most county organizations in the Bay Area still need to create a more representative workforce. Developing strategies, such as implementing robust diversity management programs that can help improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce could solve this discrepancy.